A Kia with plenty of sting

Kia holds high hopes for its new Stinger, a rear-wheel-drive, five-door Gran Turismo of large car proportions and performance focus.

In the words of Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith, “This is the car that brings passion and desire to the Kia brand.”

The Stinger comes to the local market with a choice of two petrol engines – a single turbo, 2.0-litre four cylinder or a twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6, both driving through Kia’s in-house eight-speed automatic. Each is available in three specifications – S, Si and GT-Line for the 2.0-litre and S, Si and GT for the 3.3-litre.

The RACQ was there when the Australian motoring media got to sample the range on-track at Wakefield Park raceway, Goulburn, and over some of the best driving roads outside Canberra. First, the V6…

With peak power of 272kW arriving at 6000 rpm, and 510Nm of torque accessible across a very tractable range of 1300-4500rpm, this is an engine for both occasions. Engage launch control and the V6 can soar from 0-to-100kph in just 4.9 seconds, making the Stinger the fastest-accelerating production Kia ever.

The ride and handling, honed at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleiffe, has been fine-tuned by Kia’s local product team to suit Australia’s unique road surfaces and designs. And it shows – on track and on road. Ride, response and agility can be tailored to suit through the Dynamic Stability Damping Control, which has the capability to firm or soften the front and rear dampers independently. There’s a choice of five drive modes: Eco, Sport, Comfort, Smart and Custom.

All 3.3-litre V6 Stinger models feature high-performance ventilated disc brakes from Brembo, quad-piston at the front, dual-piston rear. The 330 S rides on 225/45 R18 ContiSport Contact 5 tyres, while the 330 Si and GT models boast high-performance 225/40 R19 front and 255/35 R19 rear.